Complete Handbook for Drying & Curing Cannabis Buds

Drying and curing cannabis aren't just two random steps on your cannabis growing adventure. They're the undercover heroes that bring you those top-notch buds, packing a smoking session like no other.

In this article, we'll dig deep into why drying and curing matter big time. But that's not all—we're also about to break down a couple of techniques, each with its own unique approach, all lined up for you to check out. So, let's gear up and dive straight into the world of drying and curing cannabis!

Why Drying and Curing Cannabis Matter?

cannabis curing

Before we get hands-on with the specific methods of drying and curing flowers, let's discover why these steps are recognized as essential in the cannabis growth cycle. They could have a big impact on the flavor, aroma, potency, and ultimately, the overall smoking escapade. Let's go over the reasons that make these steps an absolute must:

1. Preserving Terpenes and Cannabinoids

During the cannabis drying process, the main goal is removing surplus moisture from the buds, to allow chlorophyll to break down properly. A slow and steady drying routine not only prevents mold and mildew from growing on your cannabis buds, but also aides in the preservation of those delicate terpenes and cannabinoids - the compounds that bring unique aromas and therapeutic effects of cannabis.

If the buds are not dried slow enough, or properly, the remianing chlorophyll in the palnt will not be allowed to oxidize and break down fully. This can lead to a "grassy", "green", or "hay" smell and flavor, which will drown out the wonderful flavors and intricacies desired from terpenes and flavanoids!

2. Enhancing Flavor and Aroma

Getting the curing game right sets the stage for a combo of rich flavors and captivating aromas in your buds. The slow release of terpenes adds layers of depth to the taste and aroma, transforming each puff into a truly delightful experience.

Differences: Fresh Flower vs Dried Flower

dried cannabis flower

Image via Hey abby Grower @Grateful Grower

Fresh cannabis flower, also known as raw flower, is the natural, undried, and uncurred state of the cannabis plant.

Fresh cannabis buds contain high amounts of water. Drying them properly is key to keeping them around, and preserved for an extended period of time. Fresh buds lose about 60% of their water content during drying, hence you'll see a significant weight reduction of buds once dried.

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How to Dry Weed Properly?

1. Choose Your Preferred Method of Drying

There're 2 common ways to drying weed plants, each carrying its own set of pros and cons.

Hang Drying

hang drying cannabis in Hey abby

Hey abby grower hang-drying the buds

Hang drying, a time-tested and popular technique for drying cannabis, involves suspending freshly harvested buds upside down in a dark and well-ventilated environment. This method is favored for its simplicity and proven effectiveness.

This traditional technique can remove moisture at a steady pace, reduce the risk of moldy weed and make sure the cannabinoids and terpenes are well preserved.

Pros of Hang Drying:

  • Even air circulation around the buds
  • Low risk of mold and mildew
  • Affordable and easy to set up

Cons of Hang Drying:

  • Longer drying time compared to other methods
  • Requires sufficient space for hanging buds

Using a Drying Rack

drying cannabis on a drying rack.jpg__PID:9b0b07fc-efec-449e-890b-e0cb717f55b5

Hey abby grower using a drying rack to dry buds

Using drying racks or a specialized drying chamber presents another highly effective avenue for drying cannabis. These purpose-built racks offer the advantages of allowing buds to be laid out flat, facilitating a consistent and even drying process.

Moreover, cannabis drying racks offer a convenient solution for managing larger quantities of buds all at once. By providing multiple tiers or compartments, these racks maximize space utilization while maintaining proper ventilation. This not only streamlines the drying process but also helps in preventing overcrowding, a common issue that can hinder proper airflow and lead to potential mold growth.

Pros of Drying Racks/Chamber:

  • Even airflow, ensuring uniform drying
  • Space-efficient compared to hang drying
  • Some models come with humidity controls

Cons of Drying Racks/Chamber:

  • Relatively higher initial investment
  • Some setups may require monitoring and adjusting humidity levels

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Hey abby's best grow box for beginners with APP control
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What's included in the Hey abby 420 Pro Edition grow box kit
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2. Set Up the Ideal Drying Space

cannabis drying process.jpg__PID:1ffe9b0b-07fc-4fec-949e-490be0cb717f

Image via Hey abby grower @ChrisMafia

Creating a perfect environment is crucial for successful weed drying. Here's the rundown on the essential conditions your grow room should meet when you start drying:

  • Air Circulation: Ensure proper airflow to prevent moisture buildup and mold growth. You don't want air to blow directly on your hanging buds, but having some sort of airflow around the plant is best!
  • Temperature: Maintain a temperature of around 60°F (15.6°C) for optimal drying. Remember, the warmer the temperature, the quicker terpenes will oxidize and degrade.
  • Humidity: Keep the humidity level around 60% to avoid over-drying or trapping excess moisture. As the plant progresses through the drying process, the humidity will naturally decrease slightly.

If you're growing weed plants within the Hey abby grow box, the drying process becomes a seamless task.

hang drying cannabis buds in the Hey abby_@SilverFox

Image via Hey abby grower @SilverFox

The Hey abby app (IOS/Android) helps predict the ideal timing to initiate drying, ensuring you harvest your buds at their zenith of excellence. What's more, when switched to drying mode, the device will automatically fine-tune the settings to create the the most suitable conditions for cannabis drying. You can also customize your drying environment by adjusting the fan settings within the app!

Hey abby's grow cabinets allow for both hang drying and rack-drying method, which adds flexibity to your drying choice.

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3. Follow the Right Drying Schedule

The time needed to dry cannabis can vary depending on several factors, such as humidity, temperature, size of the plant/buds, and the chosen drying method. In general, hang drying takes about 7-14 days, while drying racks or chambers can expedite the process to 4-10 days.

How to Know If Dried Buds are Ready for Curing?

cannabis snap test

Figuring out the perfect moment to kickstart the curing process is key to maintaining your cannabis's top-notch quality. There are two methods to gauge if your weed has dried sufficiently.

  • Snap Test: To do this test, grab a branch of medium thickness, and give it a good 90° bend. If you hear a satisfying "snap," you're golden – you've got the perfect dried weed and are ready for the next step. But if there's no snap, give it more time!
  • Humidity Test: Place a small amount of buds in an airtight container to see if there's any excess moisture; if you sense dampness, keep on with the drying.

How to Cure Cannabis?

curing dried weed

Curing is the final touch to bring out the best in your dried cannabis buds. A well-executed curing process doesn't just help to preserve; it elevates flavors and deepens aromas. Ready to learn the ropes? Check out this step-by-step guide on how to cure cannabis:

1. Gather the Tools. You'll need mason jars or airtight containers/bags, humidity packs, and a hygrometer to monitor humidity levels.

2. Prepare the Buds. Trim excess leaves and ensure the buds are fully dried but not too dry to crumble.

3. Fill the Jars. Place the buds in the jars, filling them only about two-thirds full to allow space for air circulation.

4. Add Humidity Packs. Insert humidity packs into the jars to maintain the desired humidity level, usually around 60%.

5. Monitor Daily. Open the jars once a day for the first week to "burp" them, allowing excess moisture to escape.

6. Store in Dark Space. After the first week, store the jars in a dark, cool location for at least two weeks for proper curing.

7. Patience Pays Off. The longer you cure, the better the results; many cannabis enthusiasts recommend curing for 4 weeks for optimal flavor and potency.

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How to Store Dried Weed?

Once the curing process is complete, you want to store your dried cannabis correctly to maintain its quality over time. Here's what you need to do:

  • Use airtight containers to prevent exposure to air and moisture.
  • Store the containers in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight.
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes, as they can degrade the buds.

FAQs

1. Is light bad for drying cannabis?

Yes, light can degrade the potency and flavor of drying cannabis. Keep your drying area dark for optimal results.

2. What Happens If You Over-Dry Cannabis?

Over-drying cannabis can lead to harsh smoke and reduced potency, flavor, and aroma. Be mindful not to overextend the drying time.

3. Should I dry cannabis with a fan?

While some airflow is essential, direct fan drying can lead to too rapid drying, negatively affecting the final product's quality.

4. What is "burping weed"?

"Burping weed" is the process of opening the curing containers daily to release excess moisture and maintain proper humidity levels.

5. Does curing increase potency?

Not necessarily, it does help preserve cannabinoids and terpenes, and can help certain cannabinoids go through chemical changes, but will not directly increase cannabis potency!

Conclusion

To sum up, drying and curing cannabis play a vital role in the cultivation journey, greatly influencing the harvest's quality. Our guide offers a variety of methods to suit your preferences. And as you delve into these fundamental techniques, don't overlook our dynamic duo: the Hey abby Grow Box and Drying Rack. These innovative tools are crafted not only to elevate your drying process but also to assist you in accurately predicting the ideal drying time.

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